Peace At Last Part 1 by Kay Keith Peebles

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“Ahhhhhhh, peace at last”. I sighed deeply, taking it all in. Sitting in my rocking chair, the wood floor of the porch gently creaked as I slowly swayed back and forth.   I took one last look at the forest floor thirty-five feet below. I was hoping to see a black bear saunter into the clearing as he was heading out to scavenge for food. I could hear birds gently singing to their fledglings as they settled into their nest for the night, and the soothing sound of a cascading waterfall in the brook below our cabin. The air was cool and still. It wafted a gentle, refreshing aroma of evergreen trees. The sun had set behind the mountain toward the west, and the last lumen of light slowly faded away, as all the peaks disappeared. A hush fell over the forest. It was the sound of peace.

Moments of peace are rare in our high speed world of multitasking, hustle, and bustle. Today the pace is so fast we take drive-thru coffee breaks and jot off quick texts in lieu of having meaningful, deep conversations. Meals are eaten in the car while hurrying to someplace else. Sound bites of news cause our heads to throb, with continuous, heated discussions between rival opinions. Babies crying, siblings fighting and phones ringing are all vying for our attention. Peace seems far away and seldom attained.

True peace is not a place, however, peace is a person. In Isaiah 9:6-7a the Bible states: “For unto us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father [of Eternity], Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and of peace there shall be no end.” Jesus is the Prince of Peace.

Often it seems impossible to find the quietness of peace where our soul is stilled by the presence of the Lord. Heaven abounds with peace, but for now, we live here on earth. Our world in which we live is not entirely surrendered to God’s dominion, authority or rule, consequently, His peace is not universally experienced.   His peace can, however, be enjoyed by those who believe in the sacrifice and forgiveness of Jesus. As we choose to abide in His presence we can also abide in His peace. Those who abide in Him are the beneficiaries of His peace.

Jesus spoke a beautiful promise of peace to His disciples before He died on the cross. John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]”

Jesus was given all authority by God to rule over the kingdoms of this world and the world to come. Because we have come under the dominion, authority and rule of Jesus, His power supersedes that which is in this world. Therefore, we are able to find the peace of God amid the chaos, wherever we are and under any circumstances! Experiencing His peace is not dependent upon our circumstances. It is dependent upon our faith in Jesus and His dominion over our circumstances. Thirty-seven years ago I had an incredible encounter with the Prince of Peace I will never forget.

I almost died! I was laying down in the back of our station wagon wondering if we were going to make it in time. Twelve weeks pregnant with our third child, something was terribly wrong. Four days earlier the doctor told me I was “threatening to miscarry”. He had put me on bed rest. I had been resting for three days having minor symptoms but when I woke up on the fourth day I knew things had escalated. My mom called to check on me and quickly called her friend who had been a nurse, to discuss my symptoms. In just a couple of minutes she called me back with stern instructions, “Louise said you must not be alone, you could hemorrhage and you would not be able to get yourself to the hospital”! This was in 1978 before we had EMT’s and 911. We lived in a small town of about 3,000 population in Texas and were 30 minutes from the hospital in good traffic.

My husband Larry was getting ready for work when I shared with him what Louise had said. He immediately switched gears and called the office making arrangements to stay home with me that day. He took our 6 year old son to school and our 4 year old daughter to daycare and hurried back home. Symptoms increased during the day. By evening, I had a sense that something was about to happen and tried to prepare, as I could, to be ready. As Louise predicted, the hemorrhaging began and we were in a sprint to get to the hospital in time. It was the first week in December, people were busy Christmas shopping and the roads were full of cars.

After dropping off the kids with friends, Larry turned onto the highway toward the hospital. From the symptoms I was experiencing, I did not think we were going to get there in time. I could tell I was getting weaker. I had absolutely no control over the situation. Psalm 23 came to mind. It was the only scripture from the Bible I had memorized. I spoke it like a prayer and when I said Amen, the peace of God filled the back of the car where I was. I felt myself being cradled in someone’s arms like when I was a child on my daddy’s lap, but there was no one visible in the car. I heard no voice, but the overwhelming peace I felt, caused me to believe everything would be alright.

Larry, totally unaware of what was happening to me, hurried on to the hospital. When he pulled up to the emergency room door, I was unable to walk or stand on my own. I was put in a wheelchair and quickly rushed into the examination room. My blood pressure was 60/40. The doctor ordered an IV with an injection to stop the bleeding and a blood transfusion. The nurse asked me if I knew my blood type. “It’s O negative“, I told her. Panicked, the nurse cried out, “We don’t have O negative blood!” They quickly gave me a second IV with more medicine because they had to stop the bleeding immediately.

Even though the nurse panicked, the peace of God kept me calm, assuring me God was with me. I calmly spoke to her, “It’s going to be alright”, and it was! I did miscarry my baby that night and underwent surgery, but I lived. I was 28 years old. Although we lost our third child in that crisis, I have assurance I will see him in heaven one day. That comforts me when I remember that night. I was able to give him to Jesus to care for him while we were apart.

When I prayed the Word of God, the Prince of Peace filled the car with His presence. He comforted me amidst the chaos of a life-threatening situation. Praying that Psalm, I recited verse 4, “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me.” I felt the undeniable presence of the Lord which gave me both peace and comfort.

When we invoke the help of God into our circumstances, He comes with His power, His peace and His comfort. Whether I had lived or died, His peace surrounded me in my situation. I was assured of His love and His comfort through the course of the trauma.

The Prince of Peace comes and supersedes our chaos by overpowering it. He comes in the moment when our emotions are stilled as our thoughts turn to Him. His Peace can come instantly through an unspoken prayer or a simple sigh. God is not bound by time or space nor is He hampered by limitations. Neither are we dependent on a rocking chair on the porch of a cabin in the mountains to find peace. In the midst of chaos, the Prince of Peace can come as we look to Him. No matter what the circumstance is, when we place our eyes on Him, we can all say, “Ahhhhhhh, Peace at last”!

How Well Do You See, Part 3 by Larry W. Peebles

DSC_0522I hoped everyone could see. What I was seeing was incredible, and I wanted everyone to be able to see it. Granted, it had been a trying two weeks, and everyone was drained from the roller coaster of emotions, but the grand finale was worth it.

Mom had fallen a few times at the skilled care facility where she had lived full time for the past two years with my Dad, but we were told she was not hurt, and was doing fine. When she fell this last time, she was more unresponsive. She was rushed to the emergency room at the closest hospital, and my wife and I rushed out to Texas to check on her.

During the first week in the hospital, she seemed to rally. Although she was 90, she was mostly aware of family and visitors, and had an appetite. She began some light physical therapy. We thought she might be released from the hospital back to the skilled care facility. Every day I would pick up Dad and take him to visit her in the hospital. Those visits were so important, as the two had been through a lot together. They had grown up in the Great Depression, and met and married just before the start of WW II. Dad served in the military, and came home to raise three sons. The boys grew up, grandchildren came, then retirement, and more great grandchildren. He and Mom had been married for 72 years. Dad, now 95, would talk, she would respond some, and when the hospital room went silent, he would simply play his harmonica for her.

One morning early in the second week, she did not wake up. Mom remained totally unresponsive through the entire morning. More specialists were called in, and more tests were conducted. There had been a stroke, with what was termed an “impressive” amount of brain damage. She was in and out of consciousness, and began to refuse food and after only a few days, also water. Breathing became labored. Her already weakened heart was under stress. Her rest was not peaceful, and we were growing concerned. This was when we began to see a beautiful ending unfold.

My wife Kay had been looking for something in this situation I was not looking for. When leaving for Texas, she thought the Lord had spoken to her to go to Texas to prepare Mom for death. She kept silent on the matter when Mom appeared to rally, but following the stroke, she knew she had an assignment. She was looking for something that could not be seen. There were spiritual matters involving Mom’s eternity that needed to be resolved.

My wife asked for time alone with Mom during one of her conscious moments. Sensing that there were old unforgiven issues from the past, she began to counsel with Mom along those lines. She led Mom through a prayer of forgiveness, and Mom let go of those old wounds of bitterness carried around for years. When we came back into the room, I could hardly believe what I saw. Mom was awake, happy and smiling as big as I had seen in years. Her face had shed some of the lines of pain and stress. Her whole countenance seemed to lift. It was a miracle. Peace filled the room, and she was able to be more at rest when she slipped back into the unresponsive state.

The periods of unconsciousness grew longer in the days that followed. She was awake very little, spoke even less, and no longer responded when Dad came to see her. We remained grateful for the break-through in the area of forgiveness, but we needed more assurance she would be alright if she passed away.

Mom’s pastor came to see her, and we saw a second major miracle. Her pastor came bounding into the room, full of life and energy, and talking to Mom from the moment she came through the door. Mom was not awake, but that did not matter. Pastor Pat talked continuously, as though Mom was listening. When it was time to go, Pastor Pat asked if she could sing to Mom. Then she immediately had a second thought, and asked Mom to sing along with her. Pastor Pat got right next to Mom’s face and began to sing Amazing Grace. To our utter amazement, Mom’s eyes popped open and she joined in the singing loud and strong. She went from eyes closed and unresponsive to singing the words of a powerful old hymn in an instant. Everyone in the room began to sing and cry at the same time. That was when I knew God had orchestrated all of this to show us that her spirit was secure with Him in eternity. Mom’s body would die, but her spirit was alive and well, ready to sing the songs of heaven. I could let her pass into eternity. We would miss her for sure, but it was clear she would be better off in a new life.

My Dad watched her decline daily. When Mom would no longer wake to talk to him, he knew she was slipping away. Toward the end, he took her hand and prayed “Lord, I’d sure like to have her back, but if You are going to take her, I’m ok with that.” He then played Amazing Grace and Jesus Loves Me on his harmonica. There were more tears in the room, but I knew God had been working with Dad all along to help him through Mom’s transition out of this life, and into eternity.

These miraculous events made great testimonies at Mom’s service. More than that, they were cause for celebration. Mom had preached a powerful message at her own funeral, and never said a word. I suppose a stranger could have looked into her hospital room, seen a woman dying, and felt great sorrow and pity for the patient and the family. I was rejoicing because things were not as they looked. Mom settled her accounts before her death. She forgave, and in return was forgiven. She not only passed in peace, her spirit was very alive, cranked up and ready for singing in heaven. Dad saw the transition, and although he might not have chosen it, he was willing to let her go be with the Lord. If such a thing is possible, it was a beautiful death.

For me, my eyes were opened to the reality of death. But I saw it not as something to be feared, though there will be sorrow. Rather, I saw the tenderness of God to attend to all the last minute details, both for the benefit of the person dying, and for those who would survive.

The spiritual component of our being is real. God is real, and so is His promise of the eternal reward of heaven. It is the natural world around us that we see, touch, taste, hear and smell that will not last.

The Bible says it this way:

2 Corinthians 4:18- “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Colossians 3:2- “Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.”

What are you looking for? How well do you see?

NOTE-this article is written as a memorial to my Mom, and to my daughter Jen’s father-in-law Lee, who passed away while this article was being written. He fought a long and courageous battle with cancer. In the end, he won that battle. He set all earthly matters in order, fixed his eyes, and declared he was ready for heaven. My son-in-law Brad reported, as much as is possible, his Dad passed peacefully and beautifully. Lee is now cancer free. God attended to every detail, and He gets the eternal glory.

Transformers Part 2 by Kay Keith Peebles

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Whose image do you reflect? I remember as a child, playing my records of Peter Pan songs. My favorite song was “I Can Fly”. Singing along with the record, I would jump off furniture in our family room pretending I could fly. I really expected to take off! Oh how I longed to soar in the sky like Peter Pan, but no matter how hard I flapped my arms or how high I jumped, I could not fly. I was not, nor would I ever be transformed into Peter Pan; not because he originated from someone’s imagination, but because Peter Pan was not who God created me to be. I was created in the image of God and so were you.

General Mills, parent company to Wheaties cereal, pays millions of dollars to successful athletes who allow their image to be put on a box of cereal. The company expects people to buy their brand because of the “image” represented on their cereal box. Clothing brands, shoes, furniture and automobiles are a few of hundreds of industries that have used someone’s image to promote their products.

Billions of dollars are spent annually on products advertised to transform our image. Companies’ marketing firms succeed by suggesting we should be dissatisfied with our appearance (etc.) and offer expensive options to change it. We have become a society impressed and obsessed by our own and other’s images. If we are not vigilant, our judgment of one’s success can become skewed by outward appearance, charisma, wealth, and influence instead of by wholesome inward values.

Today in our modern society, many are expecting God to conform to our image by rejecting His truth, His word and Him. His word and truth are eternal and so is He. Our society, no matter how “current and progressive” we become will never get God to conform to our image. To the contrary, He demands we conform to His!

Webster’s Dictionary defines image as: (verb form) to make a likeness of; to reflect; to depict vividly.

The Word of God challenges us to become conformed to the image of Christ Jesus. Romans 8:29 states, “For those whom He foreknew [of whom He was aware and loved beforehand] (you and me), He also destined from the beginning [foreordaining them] to be molded (conformed) into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness], that He might become the firstborn among many brethren.” (Emphasis mine).

Jesus loves the sinners who recognized their hopelessness without God’s intervention. Jesus offers us not only forgiveness of our sins but also deliverance from slavery to sin. He offers us love and acceptance into God’s family rather than rejection and hopelessness. He exchanged His righteousness for our sin, giving us peace of mind and conscience while we seek to be like Him in thought, word and deed. We will become what we worship!

The four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John provide a beautiful picture of God the Father through the words and deeds of His Son, Jesus. John 14:9b reveals Jesus told His disciples, “Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father.” (See John 14:9-11) Jesus did not end it there, however. In John 14:12-13 He told them, “I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, if anyone steadfastly believes in Me, he will himself be able to do the things that I do; and he will do even greater things than these, because I go to the Father. And I will do [I Myself will grant] whatever you ask in My Name [as presenting all that I AM], so that the Father may be glorified and extolled in (through) the Son.”

The book of Acts is the history of the fulfillment of the above scripture through Jesus’ first disciples, and that history has continued century after century, to this very moment, all over the world! Those who are willing to be conformed into the image of Christ Jesus and Transformed by His mighty power are changing the world just as the first disciples did after His death and resurrection.

The cry in the heart of Paul, apostle to the Gentiles, has been the cry of many through the centuries: “[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope] That if possible I may attain to the [spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body].” Philippians 3:10-11.

For us to be Transformed, we must first be conformed to the “Image” of Christ Jesus. There is a story in Acts 19:11-17 which perfectly explains what happens to those who pretend to be who they are not. Reports of the Apostle Paul’s spiritual authority and the power of God which he carried travelled wherever he went preaching and teaching. Many in the province of Asia had heard the reports of miracles, signs and wonders done by Paul in Jesus’ name, including the seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish priest. They thought they could undertake a deliverance (exorcism) on a man bound by demons like Paul had done. These sons knew Paul used the name of Jesus when he delivered those bound by demons so they thought they could do the same. In the middle of the “exorcism” something unusual happened. A demon spirit spoke to the men, “But [one] evil spirit retorted, Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” (See Acts 19:14-15) Immediately, the demons in the man empowered him to grab two of the sons of Sceva violently, overpowering them and stripping them naked. They ran out of the house humiliated. These men were impressed with the image of Paul, but did not have the relationship with the Lord that granted them the privilege of using Jesus’ name and doing the works He did. In other words, it is relationship with the Lord Jesus that gives us divine authority; because we have faith in Who He is and what He has done.

Earlier I mentioned that everything Jesus did gave us an exact picture of Father God. Hebrews 1:3-4 explains it much better than I can: “He is the sole expression of the glory of God [the Light-bearing, the out-raying or radiance of the divine], and He is the perfect imprint and very image of [God’s] nature, upholding and maintaining and guiding and propelling the universe by His mighty word of power. When He had by offering Himself accomplished our cleansing of sins and riddance of guilt, He sat down at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high, [Taking a place and rank by which] He Himself became as much superior to angels as the glorious Name (title) which He has inherited is different from and more excellent than theirs.” (Emphasis mine).

In a day and a season where man’s identity (image) is not only confused, questioned, twisted, and denied, there is only one voice, one explanation and one source from whom we must derive our identity, Jesus Christ. We were not only made by Him, He is the only source of our identity (image). If we allow the world and the opinions of the world to form our identity (image), we will never experience our purpose and destiny Christ died to obtain for us. However, if we will seek our Creator and allow Him to teach us our identity (image), we will not only thrive here on earth, we will also live in eternity with Him.

The Lord has given us a glorious inheritance in Jesus. We have been given everything we need for success. The world’s glamor and clamor for image is a counterfeit of the real thing. There is no greater image we could aspire to be like than that of Jesus Christ. When we conform to His image, we will lose sight of ourselves. When we magnify Him, all else pales in comparison. When we focus on His Kingdom, we will do all it takes to see that it comes on earth as it is in heaven. When we seek to do His will, our joy will be complete in Him.

If you find yourself caught in the trap of trying to fit into the world’s image of who you should be, there is good news for you. Jesus came to raise the level of our thinking, doing and being. He came to shift our focus from the temporal which brings destruction, to the Kingdom of God which gives eternal life. He desires to change our thinking from what the world says is important to what God says is important. He wants to exchange the image the world has given us with the priceless image He has for us.

By giving our lives to Him, He will restore us to what is rightfully ours, which is the opportunity to be who He uniquely created us to be. Our purpose, our calling and our potential are in Jesus alone. The only way we will experience it, however, is by being conformed to the image of Christ Jesus and Transformed by His mighty power! His image is the only one that is worth repeating.

Change of Priorities By Larry W. Peebles

DSC_0519Everything changed in an instant. My priorities would never be the same. My point of reference shifted. My whole way of thinking about things was revolutionized. I was starting over.

The retreat speaker’s words were still working on me. He said to look in your checkbook to see where you spend your money, and to look in your personal calendar to see where you spend your time. Where you spend your money and your time will reveal your priorities. As I examined myself, the picture was not pretty. There was too much time spent on work and sports, and too much money wasted on non-essentials and entertainment. I had not dismissed those words of truth, but also had not found the answer.

Months later, I would find the answer. Sometime before I had attended that retreat and heard those words, I had injured my back (playing sports). I was in and out of therapy, and in and out of pain (mostly in), and would reinjure the back at the slightest motion. I was uncomfortable sitting, standing, and lying down, which almost covers the entire range of positions. Shooting nerve pain was traveling down my leg, and I was not sure the bottom half of my body was following when I rolled over in bed. The nerves and pain would set off massive muscle spasms capable of dropping me to my knees. Heat packs, ice and electric (tens) therapy brought only temporary relief, as did pain pills and anti-inflammatories. I was desperate for help.

When people get desperate enough, they usually pray, and I was no exception. I had attended church all my life (except for a few years as a college student and early adult). My wife and I were very active in our church at the time, tithing regularly and holding various offices and positions of service in the church. I had ample information about God, and with some natural ability to teach, was considered capable to co-teach a young adult Sunday School Class with my wife. I would soon realize head knowledge was not enough.

The day everything changed was a Sunday. My back was terrifically painful that day, and I was sitting on ice teaching that class. At the close of class, my wife asked if I would like to attend a healing service at another church that evening. Although I was teaching Sunday school, I could not state my beliefs on God’s healing power. At the time, I probably thought He could heal, but had given no thought to whether He would heal in any particular situation. I certainly was not sure He would heal me. Desperate people do desperate things, and out of pain and desperation, I agreed to go. “We’ll need to get in line by 3 pm. Doors open at 5, and the service starts at 6”, she said. I never thought I would stand in line to get in a church service, but I had already committed, and the pain was so severe.

We arrived early, stood in line for two hours, and found our seats shortly after 5. I was impressed with the excitement in the air (much like a sporting event), and with the sense of expectancy in the building. There were people with worse physical conditions than mine, yet there were smiles and warm greetings everywhere. The service started promptly at 6 with songs of great worship and praise to God, which I enjoyed in spite of increasing pain.

At the conclusion of the worship time, the pastor immediately started the healing service by calling for those with back pain. That got my attention. “Stand up if you believe God can heal you” was followed by “Step out into the aisle if you want to be healed tonight.” I did not hesitate on either instruction. “You will feel the touch of God on your body” was his next statement. It was at that moment everything changed.

I felt two fingers touch my forehead. I looked right and left to see who had touched me, but no person was near. I had been touched by God. Then my first thought was “Oh my God, you are real.” I broke down and cried, somehow found my way back to my seat, and later, after gathering myself together, realized my back pain was gone. But I didn’t leave that night thinking my back was healed. I left thinking God was real, and He knew me and cared about what I was going through. My priority became getting to personally know this God. He touched my back, but He also touched my heart. More than head knowledge, I needed more heart knowledge of Him.

I began spending time with Him through the study of His word. A men’s bible study that met for three hours on Monday nights included plenty of reading and written questions for the week. It held me accountable and caused me to rise early each morning to meet God in His Word. Over the six years of that study, I found many answers to the day’s problem in that early morning meeting. I would read His Word, but He would speak to me about the day. Those timely talks I valued as much or more than the study questions from His Word. God did not hurt my back to change my priorities, but He used that circumstance for my good, and I will forever be grateful.

Today, with therapy and exercise, my back is well and strong. The nerve pain and the debilitating muscle spasms are gone. God is my priority, and He has given me plenty of opportunities to testify of His love and goodness. I pray a lot more, and He answers with wisdom and direction for my life.

My wife and I have now had the opportunity to preach and teach Jesus in eight different countries on four continents. For fifteen years, God allowed us to work with His kids in trouble in the juvenile justice system. We have seen the miraculous hand of God work in many ways. He has made it our priority to speak of His love for His children wherever we go. When we encounter the skeptics and the non-believers, those who question whether Jesus still heals, or whether He is still actively operating in the world, my testimony is like that of the blind man in John 9. Jesus healed the man born blind “so that the work of God might be displayed in his life” (v.3). He healed him on the Sabbath, which was forbidden under Jewish law. The Pharisees (the religious leaders of the day) quickly investigated, wanting to question the man. They wanted to know if Jesus was from God. They wanted to know why he did not keep the Sabbath. They wanted to talk to the man’s parents. They wanted to know who Jesus was. They wanted to know if Jesus was a sinner.

People will believe what they want to believe. The man stayed above all the petty questions when he responded (v.25) “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see.” That simple testimony is real and powerful. I once told the story of my miraculous healing in a Saturday night retreat meeting in a church in Jacksonville, Florida, and the next morning a man stood up in church and said he had survived a light airplane crash, but came away with terrific back pain. When he heard my testimony, God touched his back, and he slept pain free for the first time in years.

Jesus is real. He is not dead. His love, care and concern for all His children is real. I am nothing special that He would do something for me, and not do it for you. Make Him a priority in your life. He says in His word that if we seek Him with all our heart, we will surely find Him. Jeremiah 29:13.

 

Transformers Part 1 by Kay Keith Peebles

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Transformers: child’s play or reality? I have 5 grandchildren, four of which are boys. Their ages range from 14 to 3 ½ but they are all into Transformers. The boys can be seen running through the house holding what appears to be a car, motorcycle or an airplane but then suddenly, after a few convincing sound effects and mouth contortions, the toys transform into a robot with superpowers! The evil transformers, who are fighting for domination of the earth, clash with the good ones who are loyally defending the planet for peace. At the height of the battle, it is not easy to tell who will be the victor. Finally, the good transformers get the upper hand. The world is instantly delivered from hundreds of evil robots who had come to earth, attempting to subvert the planet with their evil sorcery. Whew! Peace at last. Time for ice cream!

In case your home is filled with precious little girls, and you have not heard, transformers are alien robots, aka Autobots or Decepticons which are involved in the constant struggle for either the domination of or defense of the planet. They appear to have one form which is ordinary, but have the ability to transform into a robot with superpowers. Whether it is Greek mythology or superheroes, supernatural power has been in the dreams of man for millenniums.

Jesus, Who was with God, and was God Himself (see John 1:1-3), took the form of man so that He could not only teach us but also show us the ways of God. He lived an “ordinary” life for 30 years, growing in the knowledge of God, but also experienced life as a man so that He could identify with our temptations, pains and joys (see Hebrews 4:15).

In the fullness of time, He humbled Himself before God by submitting to John the Baptist and receiving baptism. He dedicated His life to fulfilling the ministry to which Father God had called Him. Coming up out of the water of Baptism, the Holy Spirit rested upon Him, acknowledged Him as the Son of God, and empowered Him for the work of God (see Hebrews 5:5 and Mark 1:9-11). Immediately after His baptism, He went into the wilderness to fast in final preparation for ministry. During that time, He was tempted and tried by the devil (the god of this world). After 40 days of testing and trials, He returned victorious over the power of the devil. Equipped with the power of God, He began His ministry (see Mark 1:12-13).

One of the first things Jesus did as He began His ministry, was to call forth His 12 disciples who were ordinary, unimpressive men. Some were crusty fishermen, and another a hated tax collector. None were scholarly or noble. He taught them for three years as He preached to the masses about the Kingdom of God (not of this world) and demonstrated the power of God to forgive, heal, deliver and raise the dead.

After three years of living life together, eating and drinking with Him, watching miracle after miracle and hearing the Word of God preached, most of the disciples were disloyal to Him when He was arrested and crucified. Only John stood before the cross while Peter blatantly denied being associated with Him. Others simply went and hid themselves for fear of being connected to Him. When the body of Jesus was put into the tomb, it appeared as if it was all over…

But on the third day, Jesus rose from the dead in resurrection life! Before He rose into heaven, He met with His disciples and told them to wait for the Holy Spirit to come and endow them with power from on High (out of this world).

The disciples had heard Him teach the Word of God for three years and witnessed the power of God through signs and wonders. Yet they were still fearful, doubtful and seemingly insecure, but they were about to be Transformed!

Transformation begins by the renewing of our minds, (See Romans 12:2) but it does not end there. Mere knowledge of the Word was not enough for Jesus and it is not enough for us. Jesus was affirmed and empowered by the Holy Spirit and we must be also.

Jesus told His disciples to go to the upper room and wait until they were endued with power. In Acts 1:5 & 8, Jesus told His disciples, “For John Baptized with water, but not many days from now you shall be baptized with (placed in, introduced into) the Holy Spirit”…“But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth.”

In Acts Chapter 2, these unimpressive, crusty, and self-centered men were Transformed in a moment, at what we now know as Pentecost. The power of the Holy Spirit came upon them and they were Transformed from cowards to courageous, from weak to strong, from ordinary to marvels. The crowds were amazed that they were obviously not educated men but their words were convincing and the demonstration of God’s power was astounding. Thousands were converted to Christ that very day! These men were doing the same works Jesus did, but in His name. In other words, they were fulfilling the Great commission to which they were charged.

Today, the Great commission is still in effect and so is the Holy Spirit. The Great Commission not only applied to all His disciples then, it still applies to all His disciples today. All who believe in Him have a part in His Great Commission. We may be very ordinary, a little crusty, not very scholarly, or courageous, but God has made provision for us to be Transformed into His image just like the first disciples. When we are willing to be all God created us to be, we will be Transformers of God’s peace (not of this world).

Years ago the Lord spoke to me: “You are to be a thermostat, not a thermometer. A thermometer detects and reports the temperature, a thermostat changes the temperature.” As God’s Transformers, we have the ability to change the climate in our homes, our churches and the world, by influencing others with the love and wisdom of God (not of this world).

The battles we face today are not political, ideological or intellectual, they are spiritual. God’s Kingdom is not of this world, but neither are we. Our Transformation into His likeness is critical for His Kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven.

You may feel ordinary, crusty and unimpressive today, but by His Spirit, you can be Transformed (empowered, equipped and energized) by living in Him and being filled with His Holy Spirit. It is not child’s play, it is God’s plan. The world is desperately waiting for the revealing of God’s Transformers!